Eco development stopped in its tracks over a 10 metre lane

Posted: 19/06/2012

The £19 million eco project is set in Gorse Hill near Swindon and comprises of 241 homes by the Grand Design presenter Kevin McCloud. Kevin McCloud’s company Haboakus in partnership with GreenSquare have been developing the land in Swindon and opened its first set of 42 eco homes called The Triangle a year ago.

However, the second phase of Mr McCloud’s project called Pickards Field has been suspended due to a 10.6 metre wide piece of land. Local residents have been campaigning against the development and have found an access road which is subject to a 75 year old covenant. A covenant is an agreement to engage in or refrain from a specified action in this case, the land can not be legally divided up into a road with walkways.

Local residents believe the covenant grants open access to any person or vehicle and that any attempt to build on the land would break the convents guarantee.

Swindon Council will have to embark on a formal consultation to resolve the issue and decide if the land can be built on. The route was privately owned before Swindon Council bought the land to provide access for Kevin McCloud’s new affordable eco housing project.

The project could be delayed for months until Haboakus apply for planning permission but the project manager Simon McWhirter spoke to the Telegraph about the situation, ‘We sensibly have to stop all these processes - our public consultation and the design process - because the council consultation, on which they're about the engage, decides whether there will be allowed to be a disposal of the land or not.’

Do you think planning permission should be granted by Swindon Council, breaking the covenant to provide more housing for the local area?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd
www.paliltd.com

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